Latest research shows that reverse osmosis is the best water-filtration method for
pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other contamination. An undersink RO system costs $150-350. It can save you thousands of dollars in medical bills and improve your quality of life.
- APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-50) $185 on Amazon. Free shipping. 4.5 out of 5 stars. 3500 reviews.
Research paper: Pharmaceuticals and pesticides in reclaimed water: Efficiency assessment of a microfiltration–reverse osmosis (MF–RO) pilot plant, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 282, 1-23-2015, Pages 165–173; Advances in Analysis, Treatment Technologies, and Environmental Fate of Emerging Contaminants
The treatment efficiency of a pilot plant equipped with a MF membrane coupled to a RO membrane was preliminary evaluated as an alternative tertiary treatment of WWTP effluents regarding the removal of selected micropollutants. Elimination of most of the substances was incomplete in the previous conventional WWTP even after existing tertiary treatment based on UV irradiation.
In contrast, drastic removal of most of the compounds was achieved through the MF–RO system. All compounds were reduced to levels lower than 16 ng/L (highest value detected in RO permeate). This is especially important for the compounds that were not efficiently removed during conventional WWTP and were thereby still present at high concentrations (in the range of 162–240 ng/L) in the wastewater effluents, as it happened in the case of carbamazepine, diclofenac, atenolol, azythromycin and erythromycin. Reverse osmosis is thus a practical method to reduce concentrations of these recalcitrant compounds drastically (98–99% removal obtained). RO membranes act as a physical barrier that blocks many micropollutants as well as transformation products generated during wastewater treatment and that can also pose an environmental risk.
In addition, this physical treatment does not lead to the formation of contaminant byproducts, as in the case of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) or biological-based treatments, where these transformation products could also be of environmental concern. The most important benefit of water reuse for irrigation purposes of the Torroella WWTP effluents is that irrigation needs from the crop fields in the area, do not need to be covered by River Ter water, which is preferably devoted for the abstraction of drinking water for the city of Barcelona. This is particularly important in periods of water scarcity when the river flow is not enough to cover all the water demands. Water reuse can also help to control over-abstraction in wells, and eventually to increase water availability. Tertiary treatment based on membranes in Torroella de Montgrí pilot plant provided a safe option in order to obtain higher quality water although their use is not widespread due to their high cost in terms of energy consumption.
“Here is Your Chance to Safely Dispose of Prescription Drugs”, article in Everett Herald 4-28-2016
Arsenic is a mineral that is commonly found in the soils, bedrock, and groundwater in Snohomish County. Drinking well water with high levels of arsenic can impact your health. EPA states that arsenic can cause skin damage or problems with circulatory systems and may increase a risk of getting cancer.
Regular water tests are recommended for all household water systems. Owners of private wells should test their drinking water based on the following recommendations:
- Drilled wells – 1 sample every 12 months
- Dug wells – 1 sample every 3 months
- Springs – 1 sample every 3 months
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends that well water be tested every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. Testing more than once a year may be warranted in special situations:
- someone in your household is pregnant or nursing
- there are unexplained illnesses in the family
- your neighbors find a dangerous contaminant in their water
- you note a change in water taste, odor, color or clarity
- there is a spill of chemicals or fuels into or near your well
- when you replace or repair any part of your well system
Where to test your drinking water:
EDGE ANALYTICAL, Bellingham WA
Am Test Lab, Kirkland WA
EVERETT ENVIRONMENTAL LAB, Everett WA
List to help identify potential problems:
|CONDITIONS OR NEARBY ACTIVITIES||TEST FOR|
|Recurring gastro-intestinal illness||Coliform bacteria|
|Household plumbing contains lead||pH, lead, copper|
|Radon in indoor air or region is radon rich||Radon|
|Corrosion of pipes, plumbing||Corrosion, pH, lead|
|Nearby areas of intensive agriculture||Nitrate, pesticides, coliform bacteria|
|Coal or other mining operations nearby||Metals, pH, corrosion|
|Gas drilling operations nearby||Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium|
|Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station, or dry-cleaning operation nearby||Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals|
|Odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and near gas station or buried fuel tanks||Volatile organic compounds|
|Objectionable taste or smell||Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals|
|Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry||Iron, copper, manganese|
|Salty taste and seawater, or a heavily salted roadway nearby||Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium|
|Scaly residues, soaps don’t lather||Hardness|
|Rapid wear of water treatment equipment||pH, corrosion|
|Water softener needed to treat hardness||Manganese & Iron, Calcium & Iron, Silica|
|Water appears cloudy, frothy, or colored||Color, detergents|
EPA’s List of Regulated Contaminants
Volatile Organic Contaminants
- Carbon Tetrachloride
- Vinyl Chloride
Synthetic OrganicÂ Contaminants, includingÂ pesticides & herbicides
- 2,4,5-TP (Silvex)
- Di 2-ethylhexyl adipate
- Di 2-ethylhexyl phthalate
- Dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)
- Ethylene dibromide
- Heptachlor epoxide
- Oxamyl [Vydate]
- PCBs [Polychlorinated biphenyls]
- Coliform bacteria
- Fecal Coliform and E coli
- Alpha emitters.
- Beta/photon emitters.
- Combined Radium 226/228.
- Radon gas
Many water suppliers add a disinfectant to drinking water to kill germs such as giardia and e coli. Especially after heavy rainstorms, your water system may add more disinfectant to guarantee that these germs are killed.
- Chlorine Dioxide